One expanding North Dakota program is training young girls to see themselves in a more positive light while also teaching them life lessons along the way.
“The only thing you need to start a BIO Girls in your area is passion,” Watford City BIO Girls Co-Director, Robin Schmidt said.
And that’s exactly what Schmidt and a few others had to bring the non-profit to Watford City.
“So it starts in Fargo and they have all the programming available for you. They help you fundraise, they help you find mentors, they help you do everything,” Schmidt said.
Over a 12-week span roughly 40 girls, 2nd-6th grade, are partnered with volunteering mentors from in and around the community.
“All 10 of the mentors come and they each get four girls, they meet in small groups, and they learn things and talk about things like self-esteem, body image, healthy friendships, things like that,” she said.
And after each session, they run.
“It’s a non competitive exercise that we all participate in,” Schmidt said.
Although it may not be a race against their peers, Schmidt says the competition ultimately comes internally.
“We’re not here to tell you you need to run a mile in six minutes, Lord knows I could never do that, but we’re here to help you complete a goal. Like you said, to be able to do that, it helps raise your self-esteem,” she said.
Parents in the community, like Jena Jenks, say they’re all for programs like this making their way in the community simply because it’s needed.
“I felt like if you could bring not only these wonderful ideas like self-worth and confidence and loving who you are but also bringing some Christianity into it, that was big for me. I think there’s so many young girls who maybe need to hear that,” Jenks said.
“There’s research that shows that if you have an adult in your life who is not a family member who is encouraging you and supporting you, it makes your life better and who wouldn’t want to do that,” Schmidt said.
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